DULUTH, MN (WKZO) – Despite a pair of goals from Josh Pitt, Western Michigan hockey fell short of completing the weekend sweep Saturday night, falling to Minnesota-Duluth 4-3.
The Broncos fell behind 3-0 before lighting the lamp once in the second period and twice in the third. The Bulldogs scored 12 seconds into the game when Kyle Osterberg found the back of the net off the opening faceoff. UMD added to their lead with two more goals in the opening frame.
Josh Pitt put Western Michigan on the board at the 18:07 mark of the second period off of a feed from Dennis Brown and Jordan Osterle for his fifth goal of the year. Pitt notched his sixth score of the season 3:36 into the final frame on a feed from Jordan Osterle to bring the Broncos within one.
Trailing 3-2, Justin Kovacs put a nifty move on the Bulldog defense, and slipped the puck underneath the crossbar from the backhand side for his sixth goal of the year to tie the game at 3. The Bulldogs took the lead back on a power play goal from Alex Iefallo at the 9:36 mark of the third period.
Western Michigan outshot Minnesota-Duluth 29-22 on the night, but the Broncos came up short on all four power play chances including a 6-on-3 advantage late in the third period. The Bulldogs capitalized on two of their three chances with the extra attacker.
After giving up two goals in the first period against five saves, junior netminder Frank Slubowski was pulled at the 17:57 mark. Lukas Hafner recorded 13 saves in relief along with giving up a pair of scores.
Western Michigan (7-8-3/3-5-0 NCHC) will face Michigan in the opening round of the Great Lakes Invitational on Friday, December 27th. Game time is slated for 7 pm.